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Mary O’Brien

Men’s Health Advocate, QLD

Rural communities everywhere continue to lose men to suicide while many more men struggle in silence. The Darling Downs was struck by two such tragedies in a short space of time and the sadness surrounding this prompted Mary O’Brien to speak up about rural men’s mental health and write an article called, ‘Are you bogged mate?’. The incredible response to this article from the rural sector, particularly men, has led to the creation of the Are you bogged mate? program.

Mary was raised on the land and is a passionate advocate for agriculture with an understanding of the diverse challenges faced by rural communities. Her career in the rural sector has given her a deep respect for country blokes, and more importantly, the ability to effectively communicate with them. The Are You Bogged Mate? program aims to bridge the gap and breakdown the stigma associated with seeking help while linking rural men to the professional services available.

Mary has a unique insight into what makes country blokes tick and through the analogy of ‘getting bogged’, the program extends a hand to farmers, shearers, truck drivers, and all rural men who might be feeling bogged.

The Mental Health Professionals’ Network (MHPN) respectfully acknowledges the Wurundjeri and the Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin nation, the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which our office is situated. We also acknowledge Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.